Skip to main content
Original Issue


Surrounded by his family and Presidential Assistant Sherman Adams, Shane MacCarthy (center, left) is shown after being sworn in to the newest job in the U.S. Government: Executive Director of the President's Council on Youth Fitness. The MacCarthy family includes (from left) Tim, 11; Kevin, 14; Pat, 6; Shane Jr., 17; Mike, 3; Mrs. MacCarthy.

A vigorous, gregarious 48-year-old, MacCarthy still speaks with traces of his native Cork brogue. "I was 17," he says, "when I came to the U.S., and I had been raised and schooled in a country where sports and fitness were an integral part of the process of growing up. At my high school, athletics were treated on equal merit with any of the subjects taught. And when I look back I see how important it is to develop interest in sports at a very young age.

"Here in America our pattern of living has become so mechanized and education so crowded that it has pushed physical training into a secondary position."

Top priority in his new job will be given to restoring training for fitness to its proper place both in and outside of school. MacCarthy has taught at Georgetown and Catholic universities in Washington and held various administrative posts in government. He keeps fit himself by playing golf, handball and basketball and has lately taken up bicycling. Every evening he leads a procession of neighborhood youngsters (including his own) on a five-mile cycle tour of northwest Washington—for exercise and the feeling of family participation.